The recent announcement of the arrival of a new electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing plant in Oklahoma confirms that the state is poised to be a significant potential player in the electric vehicle market, Brent Kisling believes, Oklahoma business manager.
Canoo, a Los Angeles-based company, plans to build its first manufacturing plant in Pryor, creating more than 2,000 jobs in the region, state officials said Thursday. Kisling said there is $ 15 billion in electric auto manufacturing investment in the Oklahoma pipeline. Arkansas, Texas and New Mexico are also potential markets for these manufacturing plants, he said.
Kisling said Canoo’s announcement shows the state is a serious competitor for these developments and “puts us at least one foot in the water.”
He also said he has been on the phone with these manufacturers since Canoo’s announcement on Thursday.
âThey noticed the announcement,â he said. âWe work with all of the major automotive brands you’ve heard of. There are also a lot of new businesses entering this space, which opens up a lot of opportunities for Oklahoma. “
Kisling said all of the major auto brands are moving further into the electric vehicle space, along with new startups like Canoo.
âIt’s a disruptive time in the transportation industry that allows companies like Canoo to jump into space and compete with the big guys,â he said.
Oklahoma is “compatible with electric vehicles”
MyEV.com – a dedicated electric vehicle platform and community that allows consumers to discover, buy and sell electric vehicles – has named Oklahoma the # 1 EV-friendly state in the country. The state has also been recognized for its pro-electric vehicle policies.
âThe main reason is twofold,â Kisling said. âFirst, the way we tax electric vehicles is very unique among all states. The other reason is that Oklahoma is the only state in the country where you can’t travel more than 50 miles without going through a charging station. We have this tight network of charging stations.
The legislature passed the Drive Act in 2021, in which owners of electric vehicles will be assessed a tax when they update their label each year. The rating is based on the size and weight of the vehicle, as well as how long it has been driven in the state of Oklahoma.
âMost states charge a higher level tax than we anticipate,â he said. âWe can charge less because we have added a tax to the charging stations. “
Beginning in November, Oklahoma will also levy a 3-cent-per-kilowatt-hour tax to charge an electric vehicle (EV). There would be no tax for electric vehicles that charge at home.
This concept is really no different from the state taxes added to regular gas pumps. Electric vehicle taxes will be allocated to road and bridge infrastructure and will be distributed among counties for deposit into the county road fund.
A number of big players in the electric vehicle charging space are also active in Oklahoma, including Solar Fusion, Frances Energy and many more, and more electric vehicle charging stations are added in the State, Kisling said.
He also said the Oklahoma EV coalition approved the new tax policies.
Another major driver of EV growth in Oklahoma is recycling and reclamation of electric vehicle batteries, Kisling said.
Spiers New Technologies, a Dutch company with facilities in Oklahoma City, is considered a pioneer and revolutionary leader in the reconditioning and recycling of the huge batteries that power electric vehicles. The company recently built a new facility near Tinker Air Base.
âIt is the largest company in the world for the rehabilitation and recycling of automotive batteries,â said Kisling. âIt’s one of Oklahoma’s fast growing businesses. “
He said many electric vehicle batteries were being rehabilitated for use in charging stations.
Kisling said Canoo’s initial connection to Oklahoma came from former US Senator Don Nickles, who knew some of Canoo’s board members.
âThis is where our conversation started,â Kisling said. “He just got to know some of the people on the board and heard that they were looking for a manufacturer (location).”
Kisling said he knows many Oklahomans have connections across the country and the world, and he believes they can be ambassadors for the state’s economic development.
âWhen you have Oklahoma citizens when they hear about something to provide a warm introduction and say ‘have you thought of Oklahoma? “This is how you get to the announcement of 2,000 upcoming jobs in the state and hundreds of millions of dollars in investment,” he said.